Site Build It
Overall Ranking: 68 out of 100 points
Price: $29,99/month or $299/year
Owner: Ken Evoy
I’ve been hearing a lot about SBI as there are lots of people promoting it online so I decided to give it a shot and see what it’s all about. It’s normal to see many people promoting it since it’s a product and that’s what affiliate marketers do – promote products. It did spike my interest though since it looked like a decent program so I did some thorough research and signed up for a free trial membership.
What is Site Build It?
Site Build It (SBI) is an educational platform that is designed for people who want to create an online business. It has been around for about 15 years providing training, tools and support to its members. The company is based in Canada and has helped over 100 000 online businesses take off.
SBI has been one of the top training platforms for online marketers with many satisfied members. Unfortunately there is a negative trend going on for the last few years. There have been and currently are more people leaving, canceling their memberships and deleting their websites than the ones that are entering the program and building new sites.
There are some obvious problems with SBI that are turning a good number of people away from it. It is still one of the better platforms out there but if you are serious about online business there is a much better alternative.
Pros and Cons of SBI
As I said SBI is a useful program with a lot of great, easy to follow training and a bit over-complicated tool for keyword research called Brainstorm It! A lot of people have benefited from SBI and you still can if you would just be careful not to make some costly mistakes. Here is a list of the pros of SBI:
- Great step-by-step training (Action Guide);
- Easy to use drag and drop website builder;
- Complex niche and keyword research tool (Brainstorm It!);
- WordPress plug-in;
- Dedicated forum.
It turns out that there are some serious drawbacks to SBI and they are the following:
- The websites built with their tool are inferior to WordPress sites;
- SBI websites lost Google ranking after 2013 update;
- Using the Brainstorm It tool is complicated and takes a long time to master;
- Immediate support for hosting and website problems is a paid option.
Who is it for?
On sitesell.com it is claimed that everyone who is just starting out or already has an online business can benefit from the tools and training. That is a statement that I disagree with and you will soon find out why. I would say that SBI is a good choice for newbies who have a lot to learn and need a decent source of training and a community.
The reason there are more people getting out than going into SBI is that there are superior products and services out there. For the beginner blogger, internet marketer or online merchant SBI may be a great starting point but that is not the case for anyone who has reached a bit more advanced level and gained some experience.
It is true that for quite some time SBI has been a great platform delivering outstanding results to its users, but it has taken a dive for the past few years and the reason is simple. The internet world is constantly changing and for any one company to survive online it has to be updated regularly to keep up with these changes. SBI has made some effort in that direction which is obviously not enough.
What are the resources that you get at SBI?
The training at SBI is the most useful and best-quality asset that you can gain from your membership. It will give anyone who is new to internet marketing a solid base of knowledge of the basic concepts and principles as well as more advanced strategies.
The tutorials and articles are easy to follow, step-by-step with lots of visuals and examples. They are organized in a well-structured system with a list of actions after each lecture. This proves to be one of the most effective learning strategies as you put what you’ve learned to practice immediately.
Ken Evoy’s teaching style is interesting and simplistic while stressing on key points and repeating important concepts several times to make sure they would stick. He spends a considerable amount of time outlining the ethical code of online business and why it is so important. That is something that I give him credit for as there are way too many scams and con artists nowadays.
There is a number of different tools available at SBI and while some are quite helpful and well made others are outdated, annoying or simply useless. There is a niche and keyword research tool (Brainstorm It), block builder or drag and drop website builder, SEO analyzer that is used for each page separately (Analyze It) and the SBI for WP plug-in are among those worth mentioning.
Brainstorm It is the most important tool that SBI has and brags about. It should be providing you with keywords that you can use in your content to generate traffic. The only problem is that they made it so complicated that for a month’s time I was not able to figure out exactly how it works and what it does. They even have made a full guide for that tool alone.
I have worked with several keyword research tools and none of them were that hard to use and read results. What is a bigger problem is that Brainstorm It does not take Google into account and statistics show that as of April 2016 more than 70% of search queries are made through Google. Strange as it may sound Ken Evoy seems to be in some kind of a personal war with Google.
The block builder software for building websites is the opposite of Brainstorm It – very easy to use, very intuitive and a great tool for newbies. It makes building a website look like a child’s play and can really boost the confidence of people that are not that good with technology. The problem is that websites made with it look outdated and perform poorly.
There must be a reason why about one third of all websites are made with WordPress – great design, a huge number of modifications (plug-ins), great content management system and much better performance just to name a few. WordPress websites rank better in search engines, offer a better user experience and great variety of themes and functionality.
After the google “Panda” update in search algorithm a majority of SBI websites as well as sitesell.com itself lost their search engine rankings and suffered substantial financial losses. You can see for yourself the trend in organic traffic of sitesell.com. As for the sites using WordPress that was not the case – they were ranking even better.
This is where the SBI for WP comes in as a solution to the search engine rank problem. It lets you combine best of both worlds – WordPress platform for your website and SBI training (Action Guide), tools (Brainstorm It) and forum access. Only problem here is that it’s up to you to find a good hosting option for your website.
The last of the tools that I would like to discuss is the Analyze It tool. It’s a web page “scanner” that you whould run on each page you’ve created to check if it’s compatiable and optimized for the search engines. This is kind of a useless peace of software once you realize that there are a few plug-ins for WordPress that will do that automatically and do a much better job.
The support that SBI provides is mainly handled through the private forum and you are supposed to first check if your question has already been answered or would get answers from anyone that sees your thread. There are paid staff members that handle questions but since it’s a forum you cannot expect immediate answers.
Immediate technical support with website hosting and other issues can be reached by phone or e-mail, but there is a $19.95 per incident charge. This is something that really put me off since paying almost $20 every time you contact tech support can really add up over the course of a year. In my opinion this service should be included in the monthly membership.
What is the price of SBI membership?
There are two different types of membership that you can get from SBI. The first one is the original SBI membership that costs $29.99 per month or $299 per year and includes the website block builder and hosting, action guide, tools and forum. It has been the primary product that has kept SBI going for so long producing tens of thousands of websites.
Unfortunately as for the past 2-3 years there have been many complaints from former members and people are leaving every day. Worst part is that if you have a website on SBI it’s not easily transferable to another platform so you have a choice to be stuck with them or abandon your site as a lot of people have been doing lately. See the negative trend for yourself.
SBI for WP is probably the best option offered by SBI for anyone trying to start an online business or already using WordPress and looking for more training and tools. It costs $17 per month or $149 per year and provides you withe the most valuable stuff from SBI – the action guide, WordPress plug-in for the Brainstorm It tool and private forum access.
You will still have a hard time understanding the keyword research tool, but in the end it might prove to be a good learning experience. As a whole paying for SBI for WP is a much better alternative to having an archaic-looking underperforming website that is hard to rank on search engines.
You should be aware of the fact that a hosting plan is not included in the SBI fo WP membership so you will have to find a reliable host for your WordPress site. This is not that big of a problem since there are a lot of good hosting services available for less than $10 per month.
Summary of SBI
In conclusion I can say that SBI is not a bad product with lots to be gained from it. For a beginner in the online marketing world it may prove very useful and educating. It does however contain some major drawbacks that may lead to an unpleasant experience or wasted time and money.
SBI for WP is the only service from SBI that I would recommend. There is however a much better option that has all the pieces of the puzzle included right from the start with a community of more than 500 000 members and myself included. Here is a visual comparison between SBI and my favorite online business education platform – Wealthy Affiliate: